Cutting Through The Rubbish: 8 Tips in Choosing the Right SEO Agency

The number of competing SEO agencies today makes picking the right one difficult. Avoid wasting time and money on the wrong SEO agency by following these eight simple tips.

  1. Go for an agency that has a realistic promise

An SEO agency that is confident with their services can guarantee improved ranking without thinking twice. However, guaranteeing you with the top spot in the search engine results pages (SERP) is out of their hands. In fact, no legit SEO agency can guarantee that. There are a lot of variables to be considered, such as your competitors, content buildup, and the specific keywords used by the searchers. A promise that is too good to be true has to be bogus.

  1. Avoid black hat SEO strategies

Many bogus SEO agencies offer the faster route to their clients—black hat SEO. This strategy uses illegal and manipulative SEO services to trick search engines into ranking websites artificially. Such strategies include the creation of doorway pages, link farms, spamming, keyword stuffing, hidden links, and cookie dropping. Be wary because Google does not take these violations lightly.

  1. Look for customized services

Almost all SEO agencies have catalogued services for clients to choose from. However, mixing and matching these services, and doing some more adjustments should be performed according to your specific needs. Other considerations include the current state of your SEO strategy, your current and new target market, your location, the competitors in your specific location, and your niche. Remember that even an expensive gown does not look good on everyone.

  1. Scout for a local SEO agency first

Major companies want to be in the clientele of internationally acclaimed SEO agencies. The question is, do you have to? You do not always need to go for the larger agencies because localized SEO services are sometimes more appealing to your local market. Instead of looking for the top agency in the country, why not look for the top agency in your city first? They know your market better than any bigger but farther agencies.

  1. Ask for detailed strategies

When an SEO agency says that they will put you in the SERP’s first page, ask them how they will accomplish that. Everything should be coordinated with you down to the last detail because the agency’s plans may not always be in harmony with yours. For instance, an agency can offer you the creation of keyword-enriched articles to increase traffic from organic searches. However, these articles should not only strengthen your niche but should also complement your affiliate marketing strategy, social media marketing strategy, etc.

  1. Ask for your prospect’s clientele

Not all agencies are willing to divulge their big clients, but it is also suspicious to not have any reference at all. To begin with, not every client wants to remain anonymous since the main objective of SEO marketing is more exposure anyway. It is better to have a reference to see if its rank from organic searches really improved.

How? Search using location- or service-specific keywords that will match the website (the client). Is it in Google’s first to fifth page? For instance, for a website that offers roofing services in New York, you can search using “roofing service New York” or any variation close to that.

  1. Check your prospect’s rank

There is an adage in Africa that says not to buy a shirt from a naked man. Patronizing irony in this sense will only waste your time and money. Why go for an SEO agency that does not rank well? To be fair, there are probably hundreds of agencies competing in your location (or your market’s location, in case it is overseas or in another state). The same trick as above applies.

Search using the best keywords that apply to your prospect. Going specific should put them in the first few pages. If not, then it is either that they do not apply their SEO services to their own website, or that they are simply terrible at it. Also analyze the contents of their website. Are the contents well written? Is the design optimized for viewing? Is navigation fool-proof?

  1. Be critical about independence

As a business owner, you should know that there are more pressing matters to be dealt with than monitoring the SEO agency step by step. Although coordination is crucial, the agency should know how to solve the problems, improve where necessary, and close the loopholes just by analyzing your website and asking you about your preferences and plans. You should know every detail of the plan, but there should not be a need to involve you in every execution. After all, they know their job better than you do.

Also, the SEO agency should be able to commit to sticking with the schedule without close monitoring because a day of website upgrading might mean a day of downtime. A day of downtime is a day of lost revenue. There are SEO agencies that offer a money-back guarantee, exactly like if their services are not completed within a specified duration in the contract.